Undeniably, office workers are spending the majority of their time sitting on chairs. Over the period of time, with a drastic increase in 9-5 office jobs, the health issues have risen tremendously as well. Today, there is a massive number of people dealing with neck strains or back pains.
A part of the blame goes to their sitting postures as well. And, if there is an absence of a good comfortable chair, things can become even worse. Sitting for hours together put pressure on hip bones and spine, which in turn puts excessive pressure over other joints as well.
Since how you sit in the office matters a lot, there are certain things that you must consider before buying a furniture like an office chair. If you are totally clueless, there are certain factors that will help you make a better decision.
What to Look for in an Office Chair?
To begin with, assessing the lumbar support is one of the essential factors that you must consider while buying an office chair. A good chair should have adequate support for the lower back area. If you’re moving a step ahead, you’d also find some amazing chairs that come with adjustable support that let you adjust the chair, both height, and depth, according to your lower back.
This thing turns out to be important as it prevents back strain. Generally, the lumbar spine is in the inward curve, and if you sit for prolonged hours, without any support to this curve, it can make you slouch and strain the entire structure of your lower spine. If not treated on time, this situation can become sciatica, a bad condition that can be devastating.
Hence, make sure that your chair has high-quality lumbar support and is letting you control the firmness as well as the position. Your back should be able to rest seamlessly against the backrest, and the support should be as curvy as your spine.
While buying an office chair, you cannot mess with the seat height. When you have adjusted the seat height properly, your thighs should be in parallel to the ground, and your knees should be bent along with the feet flat on the footrest or floor. Not just that, but you should be in touch with the backrest of the chair, and there should be appropriate space between the front edge of the seat and back of the knees.
If the seat is too high, it will put unwanted pressure on the back of the knee, which can decrease the blood circulation. And, if the chair is too low, it will force your knees to be higher than hips, which puts excessive pressure on the hip bones and lower back.
Thus, make sure that the chair comes with a pneumatic adjustment lever, which makes it easier to set the height according to the comfort level. If your chair seat is ranging anywhere from 16 to 21 inches off the floor, it may work out seamlessly for you. This height will allow you to keep arms even with the desk height and thighs horizontal.
The next factor to be considered is the seat depth. Again, it all depends on your comfortability level. Generally, 17-20 inches of the width is the standard measurement. Depth, from the front to the back of the seat, should be enough so as to let you sit with your back against the backrest of the chair. Simultaneously, it should leave 2 to 4 inches between the chair set and the knees back.
Furthermore, the backward or the forward tilt of the seat should also be adjustable to accommodate the length of legs. Ideally, the chair should allow you to sit comfortably with your back against the backrest while still leaving approximately 3 to 4 inches of space between the knees and the chair’s seat. If the seat is too long, it will either force you to sit back with your back of knees pressed against the seat or to sit forward and lose the support offered by the backrest.
In both the situations, you may end up reducing the blood circulation in both the legs. To avoid this health condition, make sure you’ve checked the seat depth appropriately, and it doesn’t cause any hassles when you sit.
The backrest is one of the most important factors to consider when buying an office chair. It’s one of the major areas that takes away the pressure from your back. While gauging the backrest, keep in mind that it should be somewhere around 12 to 19 inches in width. If seat and backrest are not attached, then ensure that the latter can be adjusted in angle and height. On the other hand, if these two areas are attached, you’d have to pay attention to the forward and back angles adjustability of the backrest.
Furthermore, the backrest should be proficient enough in supporting the spine’s natural curve. Not just that, you must also look for a locking mechanism in the backrest to ensure that the area doesn’t recline too much. Also, if the chair comes with a headrest, it should also be adjustable to support the head’s base. This will decline the pressure on the hip bones and spine while letting you sit comfortably for hours.
A majority of people still think that they wouldn’t have any other option than to compromise with the armrest they get attached with the chair. However, one thing that you must note down is that the office chair armrest should also be adjustable, similar to other parts of it. Armrests should allow you to rest your arms comfortably and keep shoulders relaxed.
Also, the lower arms and elbows should rest lightly, and the forearm shouldn’t touch the armrest whenever you work on the computer. A good armrest should be adjustable when it comes to its height and should also be able to swivel. Also, make sure that whenever your arms are down, the armrest shouldn’t be higher than elbows, and your shoulders shouldn’t slouch.
In the end, make sure that the armrests of the chair provide appropriate and natural support for shoulders, neck, wrists, and forearms. If your armrest’s height, pivot, width, and depth can be adjusted, it can give good support to your arms.
Innumerable people prefer taking a rotating chair over a stationary one. The reasons behind this choice can be in abundance. After all, what good is an office chair if it cannot swivel appropriately? A chair that spins well offers utmost flexibility while working. A rotating chair would let you have access to different parts of the desk. If your chair doesn’t spin freely, it can result in arm fatigue by extending to pick up items again and again. Therefore, concentrating on this factor becomes quite essential.
To judge this factor, make sure you’re checking the swivel on your own by trying to sit on the chair. And then, extend your hand to one and the other end of the desk. If you can reach over places without straining your arm or stretching it excessively, know that the chair is perfect for you. If not, consider some other option that would be appropriate enough.
Stability turns out to be an essential factor because of myriad reasons. To begin with, there are always risks of falling down and getting injured, if the chair doesn’t have proper stability. Almost all office chairs comprise wheelbase that can run like butter over the plain floor. However, if your office is completely carpeted, you may have to find specific chairs that can stand properly and move freely on the carpet.
Not just that, but even if you have a different floor, say wooden or something else, you must make sure that the kind of chair you are selecting is competent enough to run smoothly. What if you want to roll over to the other end of the desk to get something? If the wheelbase wouldn’t be sturdy, the chances of falling down increase even more.
Therefore, you must make sure that the wheelbase is strong enough and your chair is stable. Or else, you might end up offering medical aid to your employees every single day.
There is no denying the fact that the chair material should be of high quality. However, the quality that you might look for is mainly based on different factors, like your needs, length, usage, and purpose of the chair. If you are looking forward to a chair that would provide adequate support while sitting in front of the computer for a long time, then a chair that comes with a cloth seat might be more beneficial to you in comparison with the one that comes with a leather chair. Also, a cloth seat is also breathable; hence, you wouldn’t feel congested.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to take up the responsibility of cleanliness and want to keep things low key, then a chair that has a leather seat would be perfect enough as it wouldn’t require a lot of efforts when it comes to furniture cleaning. Not just that, but the leather seat also comes with good padding, which will be quite comfortable for you if you are sitting for a prolonged number of hours.
If nothing luxurious, the upholstery should be comfortable even if you touch it. You wouldn’t want the seat to be itchy, abrasive, or anything else that may cause overheating to the body, right? Keeping this in mind, experts recommend choosing a chair seat that is breathable and has medium texture upholstery. That being said, you must consider the fabric according to the requirements before purchasing the computer chair. It will help you maintain your comfort level.
Undoubtedly, an office chair is one of the most important furniture pieces in the office. Therefore, finding an adequate chair that is comfortable and prevents injuries is very important. Not just it will keep your employees healthy but will also increase productivity by letting your employees work comfortably for a longer period of time. If you feel stuck, consider these tips mentioned above and don’t leave any stone unturned in providing the best to your office team. So, in the end, make sure that your final decision is appropriate for everyone and wouldn’t cause any major problems to you or your employees.